Homes left without power after strong winds

Thursday 05 December 2013 21.58
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Strong winds throw water on to a road in Co Sligo
Strong winds throw water on to a road in Co Sligo
An overturned lorry on the M6 by Junction 40 as strong winds batter the UK
An overturned lorry on the M6 by Junction 40 as strong winds batter the UK
Workers clear debris after a tree fell in high winds in Birmingham, England
Workers clear debris after a tree fell in high winds in Birmingham, England
A driver had a lucky escape and suffered only minor injuries when a tree fell on her car in Birmingham
A driver had a lucky escape and suffered only minor injuries when a tree fell on her car in Birmingham

Around 100 homes and businesses are without power in the northwest of the country as a result of high winds affecting power lines.

A weather warning issued by Met Éireann is still in effect.

ESB Network crews are working to restore power to customers as soon as possible and a spokesman said that they hope to have supply restored in the next few hours.

Earlier, around 4,400 homes and business across the country had experienced power outages.

High winds have also affected ferry services to offshore Islands.

Elsewhere, thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes and two people have been killed after a powerful Atlantic storm hit Britain.

Emergency services have launched rescue operations after fierce winds and flooding swept across the country.

Parts of Newcastle city centre flooded after the River Tyne burst its banks.

More than 10,000 homes on the coast have been earmarked for evacuation after officials warned that the lives of people in the regions could be at risk from the worst tidal surge for over 60 years.

Across the country more than 100,000 properties have been hit by power cuts as winds of up to 225km/h battered powerlines.

One man died after he was struck by a falling tree in a park in Retford, Nottinghamshire and a lorry driver was killed when his HGV toppled on to a number of cars in West Lothian, Scotland.

The Environment Agency (EA) has issued a number of severe flood warnings - the highest category, which are only issued when flooding poses a danger to life - coastal areas in East Anglia, the Midlands and Kent.

The storm has also led to the evacuation of thousands of families as high tides and strong winds threatened to swamp the coastline.

In Norfolk, 9,000 homes are being evacuated as local officials attempt to stem the damage from the coastal surge.

A further 1,000 properties are to be evacuated in affected areas in Suffolk and some residents in Jaywick, near Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, are also being urged to leave their homes.

Local officials are setting up emergency accommodation facilities and handing out sandbags to help people protect their homes, police said.

Police in Humberside have also declared an emergency situation as they prepared for coastal surges from this evening.

In Newcastle the pavement around the base of the Tyne Bridge, the Millennium Bridge and the city's Crown Court were left completely under water.

Northumbria Police warned people to take extra care in the adverse weather conditions.

A police spokesman said the places worst affected were Northumberland, North Tyneside and the Newcastle Quayside.

The EA has issued more than 230 flood alerts across England and Wales, including 43 severe flood warnings which are only issued when flooding poses a "significant threat to life".

The agency said communities along the North Sea coast from Northumberland to the Thames Estuary and Kent, in addition to those on the Irish Sea coast from Cumbria down to Cheshire, could see significant coastal flooding tonight and into tomorrow.

This morning rail services for Scotland and parts of the north of England were suspended.

Trains were halted at their nearest stations and passengers told to disembark after Network Rail said debris on lines and damage to equipment meant it was not safe to operate any services.

National Rail said train services in Scotland and northern England are starting to run again as routes are cleared of debris.

A spokesman said that the network is also taking steps to prepare for the storm surge expected to hit the East of England tonight.

A number of flights have also been disrupted by the bad weather.

And closures, fallen trees, minor accidents and incidents of flash flooding are affecting the road network in many parts of the UK.